Using Amazon’s MP3 Service Instead of iTunes Store
Just a week ago, I installed Amazon’s MP3 Downloader. This program connects to Amazon’s library of MP3 digital downloads (both single tracks and full albums) and downloads directly to iTunes. By using this program, you can avoid the current DRM in the Apple iTunes Store and avoid the future price increase Apple and the music labels are planning for April 2009 on iTunes.
April iTunes Price Increase
Price increase, did I say? Well, sort of. According to this press release, iTunes audio will all be DRM free in April but instead of $0.99 there will be a sliding scale based on some magical formula worked out between Apple and the records labels:
“We are thrilled to be able to offer our iTunes customers DRM-free iTunes Plus songs in high quality audio and our iPhone 3G customers the ability to download music from iTunes anytime, anywhere over their 3G network at the same price as downloading to your computer or via Wi-Fi,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “And in April, based on what the music labels charge Apple, songs on iTunes will be available at one of three price points—69 cents, 99 cents and $1.29—with many more songs priced at 69 cents than $1.29.”
Back to the Amazon Downloader
Ok, well, who knows what this really means. I guess we’ll find out in April. In any case, I tried the Amazon MP3 Downloader on a whim and I liked it.
The Amazon MP3 Downloader is a small application for OSX and Windows that will tie Amazon music downloads into iTunes Library or the Windows Media Player.
I tried out the program on the Mac, and it was simple:
1. Install the Amazon MP3 Downloader.
2. Select music from the Amazon library of MP3 digital downloads.
3. Downloads begin automatically, triggering the application to load.
4. Enjoy… Really, that’s it. To prove it, I created a little video of me buying a song (go full-screen for a better view of the screenshots):
As you can see, the progress of your downloads appears in the application. You can even pause and resume if you need to. Oh, and I still suck at making screencasts but maybe I’ll get better with practice – or not.
Downloaded files end up in a folder called “Amazon MP3″ (in the Music folder) and you can also have files automatically loaded into the iTunes library. Both options are turned on by default (see screenshot below).